Unless otherwise noted, all films are documentaries.
All links lead to general information, synopsis, and link to order or view.
55 min, 2014
Contact: eduardochibas.esFree on Youtube
In Spanish: http://youtu.be/mSAPqGijeiY
With English subtitles: http://youtu.be/eH7GBl_m-oUBye Bye Barcelona is a documentary about a city and its relationship with tourism, about the difficult coexistence between Barcelona and its people with tourism and tourists. It is a documentary that exposes through the thoughts of some of its residents and the grave effects that mass tourism has in the city. The film’s sole purpose is to serve as counterweight to the much repeated idea that tourism is a win-win business. This documentary is about what we lose because of it. Film posted by Kathleen Adams.
72 min., 1988
See link for pricing”CANNIBAL TOURS” is two journeys. The first is that depicted – rich and bourgeois tourists on a luxury-cruise up the mysterious Sepik River, in the jungles of Papua New Guinea … the packaged version of a ‘heart of darkness’. The second journey (the real text of the film) is a metaphysical one. It is an attempt to discover the place of ‘the Other’ in the popular imagination. It affords a glimpse at the real (mostly unconsidered or misunderstood) reasons why ‘civilised’ people wish to encounter the ‘primitive’. The situation is that shifting terminus of civilisation, where modern mass-culture grates and pushes against those original, essential aspects of humanity; and where much of what passes for values in western culture is exposed in stark relief as banal and fake. Film posted by Linda Scarangella McNenly. Read review by Dean MacCannell
Charlotta Copcutt, Anna Weitz, Anna Klara Åhrén
46 minutes, 2005
$348Already visited Paris, Rome, Berlin, Madrid and the other great cities of Europe? Looking for a truly unusual tourist spot? Then how about the silver mines of Potosi in Bolivia, billed as “the best adventure in the Cerro Ricco,” where you can don helmets, gloves and overalls and descend into the dark, stiflingly hot, and polluted mines to watch real Bolivian miners at work?CAN’T DO IT IN EUROPE portrays this new phenomenon of ‘reality tourism,’ whereby bored American or European travelers seek out real-life experiences as exciting tourist “adventures.” The film follows a group of such international tourists as they visit the mines in Potosi—the poorest city in the poorest nation in Latin America—where Bolivian miners work by hand, just as they did centuries ago, to extract silver from the earth. Led by their Bolivian tour guide, a former miner himself, and walking through constricted, muddy and poorly ventilated tunnels, breathing fetid air laced with arsenic, asbestos and toxic gases, and occasionally dodging fast-moving carts loaded with silver ore, the tourists take in the “sights” with goggle-eyed amazement and not a little uneasiness. Although they give the miners recommended gifts of coca leaves and soft drinks, the cultural encounter is no less awkward, with the miners cracking jokes about the “gringitos” and wondering, “God knows why they come to see us.”In addition to interviews with the tourists, tour guide, and an elderly retired miner, CAN’T DO IT IN EUROPE features a discussion by the city’s Director of Development, who boasts of the city’s growing tourist trade—presently 50,000 tourists per year—and explains why, in order to preserve the authentic “experience” for tourists, they don’t want to change or improve working conditions for the miners. After the visit to the mines is concluded with a bang, literally, by the chance to explode a stick of dynamite, several of the tourists comment on the value of such Third World tourism. Apart from the fact that you CAN’T DO IT IN EUROPE, as one explains, you can also better appreciate your own life after you’ve seen people worse off than yourself. Film posted by Kathleen Adams.“An excellent film for provoking classroom discussion on the role of contemporary tourism in the developing world! The film offers a comprehensive exploration of its subject from all sides of the tourist encounter. This is essential viewing for tourism studies, cultural anthropology, and documentary film courses.”—Pegi Vail, Anthropologist/Filmmaker/Curator, Anthropology Department, Columbia University
28 min., 2002
$225Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, and one of the most important forms of contemporary contact between different cultures. Eco-tourism and “ethnic” tourism, designed specifically to bring affluent and adventurous tourists into remote indigenous communities, are among the fastest-growing types of tourism worldwide.This insightful documentary, filmed in the small tropical forest community of Capirona, in Ecuador, serves as an incisive case study of the many issues and potential problems surrounding eco- and ethnic tourism. Those issues are shown to be simultaneously cultural, economic, and environmental, and are complexly intertwined for both indigenous communities and tourists. The film interweaves illuminating sequences featuring the Quechua-speaking Capirona Indians, Ecuadorian tour operators, anthropologists and other academics, and college-age American tourists to examine the benefits and negative costs of such tourism to everyone involved. The film focuses in particular on how tourism has changed the lives of members of the indigenous community, which took eight years to decide to admit tourists into their villages.The cash flow from tourism that is managed directly by the Indians bypasses the fees normally exacted by travel agencies and tour operators and may be able to sustain the community if revenues are distributed equitably. But how do indigenous communities, in the context of global tourism and business interests, set up and run successful tourist operations without compromising their own cultural traditions and despoiling their environment?
95 min, 2013
http://www.tigertoda.ch/COMMON_ROADS.htmlWhereas the label of «pilgrim» is still mostly associated with devout persons leaving home for purely religious motives, young people taking to the road as «backpackers» are generally perceived as pleasure seeking globetrotters. Questioning these stereotypes, anthropologist and filmmaker Tommi Mendel followed one young woman along the Way of St. James through France and Spain and another one along backpacking-routes through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Documenting their experiences and encounters over a period of three years, this film reveals intriguing parallels on various levels between what at first glance appear as two different ways of travelling. Film posted by Noel Salazar.
82 minutes, 2009
http://www.cowboysinparadise.com/Institution: $195; Home use: available for purchase on iTunesEach year, thousands of women travel to Bali in search of paradise. And many find it in the arms of Kuta Cowboys, the bronzed beach ambassadors who’ve made the island one of the world’s leading destinations for female sex tourists.COWBOYS IN PARADISE gets between the sheets of Bali’s ?holiday romance’ trade to reveal some of the island’s most closely-guarded secrets. What separates a Cowboy from garden-variety gigolos? How do women compensate him? Why are time management skills crucial to his success? And how does his family feel about his colourful ways? The film also charts the typical trajectory of a Cowboy’s life, from entry into beach life to his reign at the top of the tourist-industry chain, before following his heartbreaking descent into obsolescence. By the end, the myth of paradise is shattered and the viewer is presented with a more realistic proposition: Paradise is always elsewhere. Film posted by Kathleen Adams.Interesting article on impact of this film on sex tourism in Bali: http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1986847,00.html Note for classroom use: Not rated; nudity, explicit sexual language and imagery. Instructor previewing recommended.
20 min., 2007
$195 Bodh Gaya, the world’s most popular destination of Buddhist pilgrimage, is located in one of India’s poorest states. Visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage site are typically shocked by the extreme poverty there, and the Buddhist tradition of alms-giving motivates them to donate money. As a result, Bodh Gaya has developed a sophisticated charity “industry” which caters to and depends on tourists and tourism.This thought-provoking documentary explores the complex, interconnected effects of tourism, globalization, culture, philanthropy, and religion in Bodh Gaya. Destination: Tourism provides a deeply perceptive and incisive ethnographic case study as well as a poignant illustration of the overwhelming challenges facing many of the world’s poor as they struggle to eke out a living in a seasonal economy almost completely dependent on foreign tourists.As the film illuminates, the tourism economy’s volatile nature provides only seasonal and temporary work for local residents: time in Bodh Gaya is measured by the coming and going of strangers. For four winter months there are tourists, and therefore work. The rest of the year is marked by desperate unemployment. In addition, dozens of foreign-owned and foreign-operated monasteries function like all-inclusive resorts, monopolizing tourism services. The monasteries also inflate real-estate values: when farmlands become monasteries, farmers must find a new livelihood. Survival has become a challenge for Bodh Gaya’s residents.In the search for sustainable employment, entrepreneurial locals have established hundreds of charity schools for destitute children. These village schools are entirely funded by tourist donations and have become a not-to-be-missed point on the Bodh Gaya tourist itinerary. The mud-hut schools and their slate-and-chalk students have become a “Kodak moment” for the visiting Buddhist pilgrims, and a means of livelihood for local residents.Destination: Tourism will generate thought and discussion in any course dealing with international development and globalization, as well as a variety of courses in cultural anthropology, Asian and Indian studies, tourist studies, and religious studies. Film posted by Linda Scarangella McNenly.
25 minutes, 2008
Institution $195; Rent $49On the beautiful island of Lamu on the eastern coast of Kenya, three young footballers have just graduated from school summa cum laude, but cannot get hold of the school certificates they need for university or to find jobs until they pay their hefty school fees arrears. Until then, the certificates remain locked in a rusting filing cabinet in the headmaster’s office. They could get work in Lamu’s booming tourist industry, which has brought an influx of pop stars, models and glitterati – and much needed income – to the island over the past 15 years. But tourism has also introduced alcoholism, drugs and soaring house prices that are threatening the local Islamic culture and way of life.One of our young protagonists, Arafat, isn’t worried. His faith is strong enough, he claims, to withstand the lure of the West, and he’s happy to earn money providing boat services for tourists on the dhows that ply their trade along Lamu’s coast. But his schoolmates, and fellow footballers, Adbulkarim and Abubakar, are reluctant to get involved with the tourists whose dress and habits they regard as corrupting and opposed to Islam. But how else will they earn enough to secure their precious certificates – and their future? And can the West really offer a model of globalization that will win over Lamu’s young men? What future will our three young protagonists choose? Film posted by Joseph Cheer.
Ilja Kok, Willem Timmers
25 minutes, 2011
Institution $165; Home use $14.95. The Mursi tribe resides in the basin of the Omo River, in the east African state of Ethiopia. Mursi women are known for placing large plates in their lower lips and wearing enormous, richly decorated earrings, which has become a subject of tourist attraction in recent years. Each year, hundreds of Western tourists come to see the unusually adorned natives; posing for camera-toting visitors has become the main source of income for the Mursi. To make more money, they embellish their “costumes” and finery to appear more exotic to the outsiders. However, by exaggerating their habits and lifestyle in such a manner they are beginning to cause their original, authentic culture to disintegrate. Framing the Other portrays the complex relationship between tourism and indigenous communities by revealing the intimate and intriguing thoughts of a Mursi woman from Southern Ethiopia and a Dutch tourist as they prepare to meet each other. This humorous, yet simultaneously chilling film shows the destructive impact tourism has on traditional communities. Film posted by Tamás Regí.** ATIG member comment: This is a well-done film that touches on many of the same issues that Cannibal Tours does—in particular, it problematizes the notion of exploited indigenous ‘hosts’ and wealthy ‘guests’. Students are left to discuss who is exploiting whom. I showed both films to my students, and while they liked both, it seems Framing the Other elicited a richer discussion. – Michael Di Giovine
59 minutes, 2005
Institution $249.95; Home use $26.95Global Villages depicts ethnic theme parks of China and Japan where official narratives of tradition and history are translated into colorful dances and interactive routines. Theme park formations are “imagined communities” that reach beyond the borders of the thatched huts and park walls. While having fun together, tourists and performers also collaborate in the production of heritage, nation and world. Global Villages takes viewers from naive enjoyment to reflexive understanding of the corporate and political agendas entailed in the display of people and culture, where things are not what they appear to be.Moving between five sites in two countries — weaving together performances, interviews and interactions —Global Villages captures the different narratives of globalization and identity that shape the experiences of ethnic minorities and foreign nationals as they perform their indigeneity for tourists. Film posted by Naomi Leite.Review by Nelson Graburn: “Global Village is a fast-paced colorful view of ‘staged ethnicity’ in today’s Asian tourist villages. The film maker’s commentary is straightforward, illuminating contemporary questions about identity, display and authenticity. Equally interesting are the ‘emic’ insights by the local producers and performers interviewed for the film. Global Village is engaging and instructive for undergraduates and graduate students in anthropology, sociology, geography, and visual culture who are studying tourism, media, globalization, and East Asia.”
Jen Schradie, Matt DeVries
39 minutes, 1999
Institution: $225; Home Use: $29.95A Philippine government plan to transform ancestral farmland into a tourist resort sparks a dramatic conflict when villagers actively resist the development. As peasants and fisherfolk organize to stop the golf courses and yacht marinas, their seaside community called Hacienda Looc becomes a violent flashpoint in a larger, national battle over land and revolution. THE GOLF WAR is a provocative portrait of one community’s fight for survival against forces of economic ‘development’, contrasted with views of developers, bureaucrats, and golf boosters in the Philippines, including Tiger Woods. Film posted by Jennifer Esperanza.
55 min., 2013
$195 (purchase); $45 (rent)Americans have the shortest vacations of any rich country. And they are actually getting even shorter. The US is one of only five countries in the world — the others are Burma, Nepal, Suriname and Guyana — which have no law guaranteeing any paid vacation time for workers. The average US vacation is a bit over two weeks, while the median is only about a week and a half, and American workers give back about three vacation days every year. Europeans enjoy five or six weeks of vacation each year and are healthier than Americans.Vacations matter — for productivity, happiness, family bonding and especially, health. Men who don’t regularly take vacations are a third more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who do; women are fifty percent more likely, and far more likely to suffer from depression. Making the case for more vacation time are: Shelton Johnson, a ranger naturalist in Yosemite; Rick Steves, the world’s best-selling travel writer; and Sara Speck, cardiologist and director of a cardio-vascular wellness program, who tells patients to “take two weeks and call me in the morning.” Film posted by Rachel Giraudo.
Pegi Vail and Melvin Estrella
79 minutes, 2014
http://gringotrails.com$390GRINGO TRAILS is a feature-length documentary that raises urgent questions about one of the most powerful globalizing forces of our time: tourism. Spanning South America, Africa and Asia, the tourist pathway known as the “gringo trail” has facilitated both life-altering adventures and the despoiling of many once virgin environments. The film follows stories along the trail to reveal the complex relationships between colliding cultures: host countries hungry for financial security and the tourists who provide it in their quest for authentic experiences.“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves,” says best-selling travel writer Pico Iyer; “and we travel, next, to find ourselves.” We travel for escape and for encounter, to challenge our assumptions and our limits, and to expand our visions of the possible. As dramatically as travelers are altered by new landscapes, values and belief systems, they also unavoidably alter the people and places they visit.GRINGO TRAILS first takes us on a harrowing journey with one man’s story of getting lost in the Amazon jungle in 1981 that has had an unexpected effect on future generations. We meet the original inhabitant of an island on the Salt Flats of Bolivia as he faces the dilemma of trying to preserve its ecosystem while still allowing outsiders to experience its unique magic. We see the unintended but devastating impact of a traveler’s search for an ‘unspoiled’ island paradise in Thailand and the ethical quandaries of locals in a position to profit from tourism. We follow a woman’s personal transformation as her romantic fantasies about ‘the unknown’ meet reality in Timbuktu. We also meet locals worldwide as they express the desire for visitors to better understand how to respectfully walk on their sacred lands, including one indigenous community that has become a model for sustainable tourism in South America. More information: http://www.cinematropical.com/Cinema-Tropical/gringo-trails-opens-in-theaters-this-september.htmlPegi Vail (Director/Producer) is an anthropologist and Associate Director of the Center for Media, Culture, and History at NYU. She has taught at NYU and Columbia University on Film, Culture, and Tourism. Her book, Right of Passage, based on her research among backpackers in Bolivia as a Fulbright scholar, is forthcoming (Duke University Press). Vail has additionally served as lecturer for Columbia Alumni Travel Study Tours, National Geographic and Soros Open Society and as a judge for the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Film posted by Paula Mota Santos.
Feature film (drama), 108 min, 2005
$9 (Amazon)A trio of lonely, middle-aged women finds their growing disillusionment with stateside men leading them to seek emotional comfort and sexual gratification in the arms of young Haitian men in director Laurent Cantet’s emotionally incisive adaptation of Haitian-Canadian author Dany Laferrière’s acclaimed short stories. Competing for the attentions of beautiful young Haitian native Legba (Ménothy Cesar) are 55-year-old Wellesley professor Ellen (Charlotte Rampling), sexually frustrated Canadian factory worker Sue (Louise Portal), and fortysomething Georgia blonde Brenda (Karen Young). The Hotel Petite Anse is a haven for older women seeking the companionship of younger men, and doyenne Ellen has come to establish herself as something of the queen bee of the popular island establishment. The film is set in the 1980s; despite the constant threat of Baby Doc Duvalier’s thuggish henchmen, these lonely women risk their livelihoods to bask under the sun and forget the troubles of their daily lives as the line between exploiter and exploited becomes increasingly blurred. Film posted by Chris Holman, who writes, “Great film regarding the nuances/complexities of female sex tourism.”
Jefffrey Himpele, Quetzil Castañeda
90 min, 1997
Institution $265; Non-profit $132.50; Home use $29.95This original ethnographic video depicts how New Agers, the Mexican state, tourists, and 1920s archaeologists all contend to “clear” the site of the antique Maya city of Chichen Itza in order to produce their own idealized and unobstructed visions of “Maya” while the local Maya themselves struggle to occupy the site as vendors and artisans. The setting is the spring Equinox when a shadow said to represent the Maya serpent-god Kukulkan appears on one temple pyramid. As more than 40,000 New Age spiritualists and secular tourists from the United States and Mexico converge to witness this solar phenomenon, the video depicts the surrounding social event as a complicated entanglement of expected dualisms concerning tourism. Going beyond previous films that reduce tourism to neo-colonial and exoticizing social relations, this video portrays a Maya cultural site where US New Agers — rather than local Mayas — appear as exotic ritualists who are on display for other secular tourists and for local Mayas.While the video does examine representations of Mayas by visiting New Agers as part of globalizing discourses on the exotic and evolution, it also shows how during the ongoing economic crisis resident Mayas struggle against the Mexican state — rather than against tourists — that regularly “sweeps” them from the tourist zone in order to anchor the nation in an image of pure antiquity. This video also asks what kind of fieldwork is possible at such a spectacle and it questions the status of ethnographic authority as people from the various groups converging on the event, including the anthropologist-videomakers, ironically trade positions as well as compete to speak about the Maya. [Film by ATIG MEMBER]
Les Blank, Vikram Jayanti, Chris Simon
84 min, 1991
University/library: $99; Home use: $29.95Innocents Abroad is a delightful, lighthearted film about forty American tourists visiting ten European countries in a whirlwind two weeks. With Les Blank’s perceptive and unmistakable touch, this film takes an amusing look at European and American stereotypes of each other and also examines the validity of high speed, high traffic twentieth century mass tourism. Film posted by Naomi Leite.
Kibwe Tavares, Jack Thorne, Ivana MacKinnon
18 minutes, 2013
Free onlineMbwana and his best friend Juma are two young men with big dreams. These dreams become reality when they photograph a gigantic fish leaping out of the sea and their small town blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. But for Mbwana, the reality isn’t what he dreamed – and when he meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive. Jonah is a big fish story about the old and the new, and the links and the distances between them. A visual feast, shot though with humour and warmth, it tells an old story in a completely new way. Film posted by Frederic Gleach.
86 minutes, 2001
University/library: contact [email protected]; Home use: $28.95 (Amazon)Utilizing excerpts from the award-winning non-fiction text “A Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid, Life & Debt is a woven tapestry of sequences focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival and parameters of day-to-day existence are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agendas. By combining traditional documentary telling with a stylized narrative framework, the complexity of international lending, structural adjustment policies and free trade will be understood in the context of the day-to-day realities of the people whose lives they impact.The film opens with the arrival of vacationers to the island– utilizing Ms. Kincaid’s text as voice-over, we begin to understand the profound contrasts behind the breathtaking natural beauty of the island. The poetic urgency of Ms. Kincaid’s text lends a first-person understanding of the legacy of the country’s colonial past, and to its present day economic challenges. For example, as we see a montage of the vacationer in her hotel, voice-over: “When you sit down to eat your delicious meal, it’s better that you don’t know that most of what you are eating came off a ship from Miami. There is a world of something in this, but I can’t go into it right now.” (adapted excerpt “A Small Place”). Film posted by Heather Hindman.ATIG member comment: ” [The film] weaves themes of U.S. imperialism with all-inclusive mass tourism into a gripping expose about the international debt crisis.” – Christine Preble
Feature film (comedy), 114 min, 1953
French with English subtitles
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare2/hulot-holiday.htmThe comedy that brought Jacques Tati international acclaim also launched his on-screen alter ego: the courteous, well-meaning, eternally accident prone Monsieur Hulot. The film is set in a sleepy French coastal resort which is seasonally disrupted by holidaymakers in energetic pursuit of fun. At the centre of the chaos is the eccentric Hulot, struggling at all times to maintain appearances, but somehow entirely divorced from his immediate surroundings. There is little plot in Tati s beautifully orchestrated ballet of comic action: it s a series of incidents, a seamless succession of gently mocking studies of human absurdity. Film posted by Bertrand Reau.
Monica Garnsey / Channel 4
Two episodes: each 60 min, 2007http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1458599/
https://youtu.be/zwRS1BeRytw (episode 1); http://youtu.be/SbUqzfZwukI (episode 2)
Free onlineAcclaimed director Monica Garnsey takes us to the other side of the sex industry, through the eyes of working girls. Seen from the women’s point of view, these documentaries reveal how sleeping with foreigners for money has almost become a career choice for many girls from developing countries. Episode 1, “Girlfriend for Sale,” deals with Thailand; Episode 2, “The Girlfriend Experience,” focuses on Venezuela. Film posted by Jonathan Skinner.
José Huerta / Gérard Jumel
53 min, 2009
French (no subtitles); “international version” available
€ 15Parajuru is a fishing village located on the north-east coast of Brazil. For three years, a wealthy Austrian, Giselle, has been investing there for developing tourism: buying lands, building houses and a luxury hotel… Gisi, as she is called there, acts in the economic field but also carries out social projects. She has created a school for the children of the village and runs German and English courses. Some young people have even been sent to Austria for internships programmes.
Parajuru is living more and more under Austrian influence. Therefore, some of the locals start to bring into question the intentions of this woman who buys everything in the village, without ever communicating with its people.Chico Mariano, the president of the fishermen’s association, has a perspective on the issue. Even if he is not against Gisi’s projects, he knows that an uncontrolled development of tourism can gradually compromise the villagers as a unity. He also knows that the nearby nature reserve caught the attention of Gisi and other property speculators. He sets himself a mission: to defend the interests of the community.This film presents the portrait of a village undergoing a considerable transformation, torn between the desire for economic development and the wish for preserving its traditional lifestyle. Film posted by Tristan Loloum, who describes it as “a documentary film (in French) about tourism, educational projects and real estate investments in Northeast Brazil.”
Feature film (drama), 120 min, 2013
German, Swahili and English, with English subtitles
$20Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian hausfrau, travels to the beaches of Kenya as a sex tourist or Sugar Mama. There, she moves from one Beach Boy to the next, buying their love only to be disappointed and quickly learning that there, love is strictly a business. With his very unique brand of realism, socio-political critique and warped humor, Mr. Seidl deals with the market value of sexuality, older women and young men, the power of skin color, Europe and Africa, and the exploited, who have no choice but to exploit others.This film is the opener in the PARADISE Trilogy about three women in one family who take separate vacations: one as a sex tourist (PARADISE: LOVE), another as a Catholic missionary (PARADISE: FAITH), and the third at a diet camp for teenagers (PARADISE: HOPE). Three films, three women, three stories of the longing to find happiness in contemporary society. Film posted by Tristan Loloum, who writes that it is “a baffling film about tourism’s ‘intimate economies’.”Review: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jun/10/ulrich-seidle-new-fassbinder Note for classroom use: Not rated; nudity, explicit sexual scenes and drug use. Instructor previewing recommended.
73 min, 2011
$290What price would you pay for paradise? And who would you be willing to take it from? The pristine archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama attracts retirees and developers from the U.S. with its crystal-clear waters and its island culture. In PARAISO FOR SALE, filmmaker, Anayansi Prado, returns to her homeland to document the effects the fast-growing migration is having on the local community.This engaging and revealing documentary tells the personal stories of the people who call this area home and would like to keep it that way. From an American couple who’ve invested not just in their home but in their Panamanian community to a local businessman turned political hopeful and an indigenous leader fighting for his land, the characters and stories in PARAISO FOR SALE speak to the larger global issue of communities, new and old, under siege from faceless corporations. PARAISO FOR SALE explores issues of modern day colonialism, residential tourism, global gentrification and reverse migration, by revealing that immigration between Latin America and the US is not just a one-way street. Film posted by Naomi Leite.Review by Kathleen Adams: “This is a excellent film that raises thought-provoking questions about the challenges faced by communities as they become international vacation and retirement destinations. This is a moving vehicle for prompting discussions on the complexities of globalization, and the ways in which tourism and outsiders’ love for a tropical locale can sometimes ultimately lead to neo-colonialism. Anyone teaching globalization courses or classes on the anthropology of tourism will want to share this film with their students. Highly recommended!”
70 min, 2013
$275Tourism in China today signifies many things. To the Chinese government, tourism is a win-win opportunity to promote rural development and modernization and to encourage urban residents to flex their disposable incomes through domestic travel. To tourists – past, present, and future – it is the epitome of middle-class leisure, proof that the country has moved beyond the hardships of the past and toward a prosperous future. And to those who live in the sites that are visited, tourism is a means to an end, a chance to earn a living by turning one’s home into a destination.Peasant Family Happiness depicts the everyday experience of “doing tourism” in two rural ethnic tourism villages in contemporary China: Ping’an in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Upper Jidao in Guizhou Province. In these villages, residents negotiate between the day-to-day consequences of tourist arrivals and idealized projections of who they are. Questions of “authenticity” are rendered secondary to, yet not entirely subsumed by, market imperatives.Culture and identity remain important for sustaining community, but in ways that reveal just how much labor goes into creating leisure experiences. What really matters to the villagers of Ping’an and Upper Jidao are the bigger, more pressing questions confronting modern rural communities across the globe: the possibilities brought about by improved transport networks, the promises and perils of leaving one’s home to be a migrant worker elsewhere, and the pleasures of imagining one’s own future through the lens of successful, profitable tourism.With its “deft and intimate camera work,” its stunning visuals of spectacular rural landscapes, and its “insightful, vivid, and intelligently humorous” paradoxes and ironies, Peasant Family Happiness will thoroughly engage students and stimulate reflection and discussion in a wide range of courses in cultural anthropology, China and East Asia, development issues, ethnicity and identity, and tourism. [Film by ATIG MEMBER]
17 minutes, n.d.
Free on YouTube & AID/WATCH siteWhen Vanuatu was granted Independence from the British and French in 1980, indigenous, Ni-Vanuatu landowners were of the view that the large portions of land taken by colonial powers would be handed back to them. Thirty one years on, much of the land still remains under British titles or “French Claims.” And now a new threat is emerging. Australia’s aggressive foreign policies played out through an AusAid supported land reform program is fueling a land grab [for tourism development] by Australian owned real estate companies based in Vanuatu. While reforms may be seen as a path to economic development, the Ni-Vanuatu are being robbed of their traditional rights to fish, hunt and live on what was once their ancestral land. Critics of the land reform program point out that a there is an increasing undercurrent of dissatisfaction among the younger generation who no longer have access to the resources that their parents once had. Film posted by Joseph Cheer.
60 minutes, 2003
$195Mike Siv has a plan: go to Cambodia with his buddies Paul and David, see the sights, have fun and reunite with his father and younger brother, whom he hasn’t seen in 22 years. Harsh reality sets in before the journey even begins, however, as Mike, Paul and David have never been out of the U.S., and are the first in their families to visit Cambodia since fleeing the bloody regime of Pol Pot in the late 1970s.REFUGEE, director Spencer Nakasako (AKA DON BONUS, KELLY LOVES TONY) follows these young men from San Francisco’s Tenderloin to Battambang where they reunited with long-separated family members in Cambodia. Mike, the most articulate and emotionally invested of the three, supplies the film’s narration and main focus. For Mike, the reunion is filled with happy, strange moments: calling someone “Dad” for the first time, or seeing a smile of recognition on his brother’s face. He relishes time with his family, yet can’t help doggedly pursuing an impossible question – “Why did I grow up without a father?” – as he struggles to understand his family’s past. A simple reunion becomes a journey of self-discovery, maturation and acceptance, against a backdrop of war, broken families and long separation. Film posted by Naomi Leite.
Feature film (comedy), 106 minutes, 2005
Russian with English subtitles
http://www.worldcat.org/title/bednye-rodstvenniki/oclc/756180321Known as “Poor Relatives” (Bednye rodstvenniki) in the original Russian, Pavel Lungin’s black comedy is an ambitiously complex story that plays on the concepts of “poor” and “relative” in various ways. The central figure is Eduard, a grifter from a small, Russian-speaking Ukrainian town who has concocted a plan to bilk rich Jewish foreigners by arranging “heritage” trips back to their purported homeland, fled by their families during the War. Eduard invents familial bonds between the émigrés and the locals, some of whom he pays off to participate in the ruse, and some of whom he cons into believing that the visitors really are their long-lost kin. He also makes a deal with the local strongman temporarily to change the name of the town from Golotvin to Golutvin (the name of an actual, nearby town razed during the Nazi occupation, from which the foreigners’ families came). As the con progresses beyond his control, Eduard and the other characters reveal and discover facets of their identities that were previously hidden, some for 65 years. This is a comedy, but along the way it raises serious issues about the nature of home, roots, family, and reality itself. Film posted by Naomi Leite.
27 min, 1996
Institution $165; Home use $14.95
Read review by Edward BrunerThe idea of an “authentic” Bali is one that most visitors bring with them, in some measure, when they arrive on the island. In its most extreme evocation, authentic Bali is a Bali that is imagined to be a place characterized by timeless tradition, unchanging ritual, hand-made arts, music and dance. This is the Bali that has been doomed ever since Miguel Covarrubias forecasted in the 1930’s that “Bali would soon enough be ‘spoiled’ for those fastidious travelers who abhor all that they bring with them.” It is a Bali that travelers imagine to be incompatible with the “Western” influences that are finding their way onto the island through the channels of television and radio programming, and the marketing of products, fashions and technology.In Sight Unseen, this touristic urge to classify and contrast the traditional and the modern is addressed with a montage of visual juxtapositions: a line of women in pakian adat (traditional clothing) parade before a Pizza Hut sign, a weathered stone statue grimaces in front of a bowling alley, and Ida Pedanda, a priest, is shown to bear an uncanny resemblance to the bespectacled and bearded Colonel Sanders. These are the sort of visual contrasts that intrigue any tourist on Bali, but they overemphasize superficial attributes of culture. The narrator of Sight Unseen questions the relevance of pointing out such contrasts by suggesting that it focuses attention on cultural products rather than cultural processes. Film posted by Jennifer Esperanza.
63 min, 2009
Institution € 37.50; Home use € 16.66Every summer, Enkhetuya and her family set up their camp on the Huvsgul Lake shores, in North Mongolia. They are Tsaatan, reindeer herders and she is a famous shaman. They live from tourism, asking money for pictures, souvenirs and special shamanic rituals for the tourists. But this year, other Tsaatan families have planned to move down from the taiga to the lake to get their part of the tourist business. The competition to be the first camp on the tourist road is getting harder and harder. The film explores the relationships between locals and tourists as well as the family’s strategies to survive in a generalised world. The anthropologist-filmmaker has been visiting North Mongolia for years and knows Enkhetuya’s family very well. Her close camera follows the shaman in her everyday life, taking the family’s point of view. Film posted by Tristan Loloum.
Julie Pritchard Wright
38 min, 1992
$225.00Tourism is the second-largest industry in the world and the “touristic encounter” may be the most important contact front today between differing cultures. But such encounters, especially between people of the First and Third worlds, are often characterized by strikingly unequal power relations. This provocative documentary portrays the experience of tourism from the point of view of those who are “toured,” in this case on the Caribbean island of Barbados. It examines the realities of making a living in a tourist economy, dealing with stereotypical “ugly Americans,” witnessing one’s traditional culture change under the impact of foreign visitors, and absorbing unceasing government exhortations to “make a friend for Barbados today.” “The Toured” will spark thought and discussion in a range of courses in cultural anthropology, Latin American and Caribbean studies, sociology, and popular culture. Film posted by Naomi LeiteReview by Nelson Graburn: “This is one of the best films ever made portraying the human side of the tourist-host encounter. It is nonjudgmental and sensitive to both points of view. I have already recommended it to my colleagues in many tourism-related disciplines in the USA and internationally.”
42 min, 1992
Institution $219; Home use $19.95This outstanding production explores the effects of mountain tourism (known as trekking) on a small village in rural Nepal. It examines the views of both the trekkers (Europeans and Americans) and the Nepalese as it weaves a complex patchwork of conflicting dreams, desires, aspirations and frustrations. It illuminates, often humorously, the controversies and ironic nature of cross-cultural encounters engendered by widespread tourism in developing countries. It also powerfully illustrates the dramatic impact of tourism on the traditional practices, culture, and environment of the region. Film posted by Heather Hindman.
46 min, 2009
£1.80 in Britain; £3.50/$5.70/€4.30 Europe; £5.00/$9.00/€7.00 all other countriesUncanny Strangers is a 46 min non-fiction film shot in a fishing village in Southwestern Madagascar. The film follows different relations between the villagers and various human and non-human strangers – ancestor and tromba spirits, Western NGO workers, ecotourists, fish collectors, cattle rustlers and the ethnographic filmmaker. Through a series of everyday life episodes, it provides insights into the ontology of these relationships and the strategies employed by the villagers to make them work for their economic and political purposes. Through its specific ethnographic focus on the ‘uncanny’ qualities of such relations, the film points towards more generic issues related to hospitality practice, the constitution of selves through webs of relationships with others, and forms of collaboration in emerging transnational social field such as – here – environmental action. [Film by ATIG MEMBER]
65 min (classroom version); 93 min (feature length), 2008
$19.96 on Amazon; classroom version not currently available in USIn China, it is simply known as “The River.” But the Yangtze — and all of the life that surrounds it — is undergoing a truly astonishing transformation wrought by the largest hydroelectric project in history, the Three Gorges Dam. Canadian documentary filmmaker Yung Chang returns to the gorgeous, now-disappearing landscape of his grandfather’s youth to trace the surreal life of a “farewell cruise” that traverses the gargantuan waterway.With Altmanesque narrative agility, a humanist gaze and wry wit, Chang’s Upstairs Downstairs approach beautifully captures the microcosmic society of the luxury liner. Below deck: A bewildered young girl trains as a dishwasher — sent to work by her peasant family, who is on the verge of relocation from the encroaching floodwaters. Above deck: A phalanx of wealthy international tourists set sail to catch a last glance of a country in dramatic flux. The teenaged employees who serve and entertain them — now tagged with new Westernized names like “Cindy” and “Jerry” by upper management — warily grasp at the prospect of a more prosperous future. Singularly moving and cinematically breathtaking, Up the Yangtze gives a human dimension to the wrenching changes facing not only an increasingly globalized China, but the world at large. Film posted by Sabine P.